I think that’s wrong. Bangladesh may or may not need tougher workplace safety rules, but it’s entirely appropriate for Bangladesh to have different—and, indeed, lower—workplace safety standards than the United States.

Different Places Have Different Safety Rules and That’s OK says Matthew Yglesias at Slate.

This is NOT satire. I repeat, in case you thought this was a joke made in poor taste, this is NOT satire. This is simply Yglesias peddling the logic of capitalism in response to the factory (sweatshop actually) fire that killed 300 in Bangladesh (300 is the latest count as of this morning, some news organizations are reporting the death count is likely to increase as debris is removed).

Yglesias, ever the cultural relativist when it suits hardcore lawless capitalism, also states:

Bangladesh is a lot poorer than the United States, and there are very good reasons for Bangladeshi people to make different choices in this regard than Americans. That’s true whether you’re talking about an individual calculus or a collective calculus. Safety rules that are appropriate for the United States would be unnecessarily immiserating in much poorer Bangladesh. Rules that are appropriate in Bangladesh would be far too flimsy for the richer and more risk-averse United States.

For the past decade and a half I have been making all my content available for free (and never behind a paywall) as an ongoing practice of ephemeral publishing. This site is no exception. If you wish to help offset my labor costs, you can donate on Paypal or you can subscribe to Patreon where I will not be putting my posts behind a lock but you'd be helping me continue making this work available for everyone. Thank you.  Follow me on Twitter for new post updates.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top